Just a little bit about what's been going on in my life recently, with some praises and prayer requests....
*I've begun attending a small group Bible study of folks from an international church here in Kiev. Most of the group are fellow expats working as missionaries, teachers, or in embassies. I've enjoyed meeting new people and studying God's word with them.
We take a passage of Scripture with no verse markings or headings, and make observations on literary techniques (repetition, parallelism, imagery, etc.). We list any questions that come to mind, whether they have to do with the meaning of the text, applications today, etc. After this, we discuss possible answers to these questions, using other Scripture, our own experience, etc. Following this, we seek ways that this passage can be applied to our lives today.
This is actually called the "Manuscript method" and you can read more at this link or this one. This would be a good method to use for studying the Gospels this way with nonbelievers or young Christians (in my opinion).
*On Sunday, Dougie and I taught English again at Obolon. This time I was given a theme--the parable of the lost sheep--and used that to create my lesson. Having a text helped me not only to connect to English vocabulary, but also to study a passage in Scripture. Looking at commentaries and reading about different applications reminded me that God searches out His lost sheep, even when we stray from Him, and that He is joyful when they return.
*The apartment I have been living in this past year--owned by another Nazarene--has finally been sold. Praise God that it has been sold, but also pray for a place for me (and a new teacher) to live next year. There is an option of renting a 3-bedroom house while a family is in America, but I need a third roommate for this to be financially possible. Pray for either a new teacher to come to KCA or for me to find a roommate among people already here. Actually, pray for God to provide a few more teachers for KCA anyway.
*Monday evening was the Passion World Tour concert/conference held at Palats Sportu downtown. There were over 6,000 young people (and volunteers too) gathered in the arena, including a good-sized group from KCA. I met up with Zee, Dougie, and a bunch of folks from Kiev First Church (aka Studenchaya, named for its address).
Louie Giglio spoke about how God is for us, and that we are part of God's story. It's our choice whether we want to have all the fame and glory, or if we will allow God to be the star of the show.
Since we do live in Ukraine, where English isn't a primary language, Louie Giglio spoke with the help of a translator. The song lyrics were also displayed on the screen in both English and Russian, and from time to time, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, or Christy Nockels would sing in Russian! I was quite impressed, though they did have accents. It was great to listen to the sermon and hear the songs at nearly the same time as the Russian speakers I know.
Read more here, at the Passion blog.
*This weekend my dad and stepmom are visiting! We are traveling down to Vapnyarka over the weekend, which is a town that I visited multiple times in summer 2008. On Monday and Tuesday we will hit most of the major tourist sites in Kyiv. I'm looking forward to their visit, and also to hearing their perceptions of Ukraine in general.
*Today is May 12, and the last day of school is June 4. Please pray for my sanity (!) and focus during these last few weeks--and pray that my students finish well. High school students are exempt from taking the second semester exam if they meet a certain grade requirement, which means less grading for me in June! YES!
*This month we have a team coming from NNU, and another one from somewhere else. Pray that their ministry will be fruitful, and pray that many families will become connected with the church and/or will grow deeper in their walks with Christ.
Thank you for all your prayers and support this year!